Sunday, March 1, 2009

Walker's Paradise: My Neighborhood Score is 95

Walk Score is an interesting website that calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby destinations such as stores, restaurants, parks etc. The Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 and the score guidelines are as follows:

90-100= Walker' Paradise: Most errands can be accomplished on foot and many people get by without owning a car.
70–89 = Very Walkable: possible to get by without owning a car.
50–69 = Somewhat Walkable: Some stores and amenities are within walking distance, but many everyday trips still require some form of transportation.
25–49 = Car-Dependent: Very, very few destinations are within walking distance.
0–24 = Car-Dependent (Driving Only): No neighborhood destinations are within walking range.


When I typed in a central downtown core address, many of the destinations were accurate but a few were not. For example under Grocery Stores, the Cook Convention Center is listed (don't ask me why) as well as Mapco Express and the Exxon on Danny Thomas. If anyone on earth thinks gas station convenience stores count as grocery stores I just don't know what to say. Maybe the website should differentiate between full service grocery stores and convenience stores. The cool thing is there is a "Something Missing?" section where you can add a place in your area if it's not on the list. I will add Frank's Market & Deli for the address I used as it is within easy walking distance. Though they are not a full service grocery they bend over backwards to be a neighborhood market, will special order and deliver.

The Map Room is listed as a coffee shop and they've been gone forever and Studio on the Square is listed under movie theaters within walking distance of this core address but it's 3.5 miles from here. That's technically walkable but impractical I would say and tiring. Other than a few weird bits of information most of it was pretty accurate. Though for a downtown core address there are many more restaurants and bars well within walking distance than what is currently listed. Visit their webite http://www.walkscore.com/ to find out how they arrive at walkability for a given address. To see my area walk score and my area destinations and see what your neighborhood score is, go to:
http://www.walkscore.com/get-score.php?street=68+s+main+street%2C+memphis%2C+tn+38103&go=Go


The top five U.S. Walkable neighborhoods according to this website are:
1 Tribeca, New York 100
2
Little Italy, New York 100
3
Soho, New York 100
4
Garment District, New York 99
5
Chinatown, San Francisco 99